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    #1

    I used to ...

    I wanted to share this beautiful sentence that I found in an excellent British magazine:

    "[The German leader] used occasionally and reluctantly to travel to West Berlin by night train."

    I think that most Americans seldom separate "used" and "to" in that way. I was jarred by the inserted adverbs

    and had to reread the sentence. I should imagine that most Americans would write: The German leader occasionally and

    reluctantly used to travel to West Berlin by night train. Nevertheless, the British sentence does have a nice rhythm,

    doesn't it!

    Source: London Review of Books, 22 March 2012.

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    #2

    Re: I used to ...

    I'd probably say "...used to occasionally and reluctantly travel..."

    But I wouldn't split the "used to," that's for sure.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I used to ...

    As happens so often, I can hear my grandfather saying this so perhaps it has fallen out of favour (whether it was grammatical or not).

    I used regularly to meet my pals from the RAF.
    Your grandmother and I used occasionally to go to a tea dance.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I used to ...

    I occasionally split my 'used' and 'to' - but then, I had probably retired from the RAF before ems's grandfather was old enough to sign up.

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    #5

    Re: I used to ...

    I'm afraid I disagree with TheParser on this occasion.

    Splitting used and to makes the sentence clumsy and inelegant to my ear.

    Rover

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I used to ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I occasionally split my 'used' and 'to' - but then, I had probably retired from the RAF before ems's grandfather was old enough to sign up.
    Hmm, I don't think that's possible - he was born in 1921. I'm not trying to elicit your age!

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    #7

    Re: I used to ...

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    And just this morning, I came across another "queer" sentence written in the early 20th century by the (in)famous British press tycoon

    Northcliffe:

    "Are we getting middle-aged, or what has happened that we cannot make changes as we used?"

    I feel that Americans would expect a "to" after "used."


    Source: Stephen Koss, The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1984), II, p. 206.

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    #8

    Re: I used to ...

    I feel that Americans would expect a "to" after "used."
    So would we over here.

    In the early 20th century he was probably afraid to break the 'never end a sentence with a preposition' rule.

    Rover

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